sa talpāt tūrṇam utthāya
kālo ’yam iti vihvalaḥ
sūtī-gṛham agāt tūrṇaṁ
saḥ—he (King Kaṁsa); talpāt—from the bed; tūrṇam—very quickly; utthāya—getting up; kālaḥ ayam—here is my death, the supreme time; iti—in this way; vihvalaḥ—overwhelmed; sūtī-gṛham—to the maternity home; agāt—went; tūrṇam—without delay; praskhalan—scattering; mukta—had become opened; mūrdha-jaḥ—the hair on the head.
Kaṁsa immediately got up from bed, thinking, “Here is Kāla, the supreme time factor, which has taken birth to kill me!” Thus overwhelmed, Kaṁsa, his hair scattered on his head, at once approached the place where the child had been born.
The word kālaḥ is significant. Although the child was born to kill Kaṁsa, Kaṁsa thought that this was the proper time to kill the child so that he himself would be saved. Kāla is actually another name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He appears only for the purpose of killing. When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa in His universal form, “Who are You?” the Lord presented Himself as kāla, death personified to kill. By nature’s law, when there is an unwanted increase in population, kāla appears, and by some arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, people are killed wholesale in different ways, by war, pestilence, famine and so on. At that time, even atheistic political leaders go to a church, mosque or temple for protection by God or gods and submissively say, “God willing.” Before that, they pay no attention to God, not caring to know God or His will, but when kāla appears, they say, “God willing.” Death is but another feature of the supreme kāla, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the time of death, the atheist must submit to this supreme kāla, and then the Supreme Personality of Godhead takes away all his possessions (mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham) and forces him to accept another body (tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ). This the atheists do not know, and if they do know, they neglect it so that they may go on with their normal life. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to teach them that although for a few years one may act as a great protector or great watchman, with the appearance of kāla, death, one must take another body by the laws of nature. Not knowing this, they unnecessarily waste their time in their occupation as watchdogs and do not try to get the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is clearly said, aprāpya māṁ nivartante mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani: without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one is condemned to continue wandering in birth and death, not knowing what will happen in one’s next birth.
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